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Government unveils its higher education financial plan to end student protests

Government unveils its higher education financial plan to end student protests

The first details of government’s upcoming Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme have emerged, aimed at addressing South Africa’s “missing middle” students.

Missing-middle students are so-called because they do not qualify for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) assistance but also cannot afford to pay the full brunt of University fees.

They’re classified as students coming from households with annual incomes of between R122‚000 and R600‚000.

The new funding model is being spearheaded by former FirstRand boss, Sizwe Nxasana, and will receive funding from government‚ the private sector‚ non-profit organisations‚ the skills levy‚ financial institutions‚ donors‚ retirement funds and social impact bonds, according to Times Live.

Six institutions including the Tshwane University of Technology; Orbit TVET College in Rustenburg; the University of Cape Town; the University of Pretoria; Wits University; the University of Venda; and Walter Sisulu University have been confirmed to be a part of this year’s pilot, which will then be expanded in 2018.

Those applying for funding in actuarial science; professional artisan studies; chartered accountancy; engineering; medicine; pharmaceuticals; prosthetics; and scarce humanities degrees, will receive preference as they have been  deemed to be “critical to the country’s future”.

Ikusasa will then fully replace the current National Student Financial Aid Scheme with those from poorer backgrounds being fully subsidised.

Read: Prepare for a new round of student protests in 2017

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  • James Dean

    We should have longer holidays considering no one want’s to protest during these times as it prime party time.

  • Ubaba meet Baba

    Glad they stipulate economy building degrees get preference. Waaay too many “social sciences” degrees floating around with nothing to do.

  • I dont know better

    They still have to pay back their loan though, and the protesters won’t like that … they feel as though they should get free education and never have to pay a cent for it

  • S. Bediako-Asante

    A great way to go which should be supported by all.

    More establishments (big private entities) should also be encouraged to establish more of such schemes to help the poor.

    It is also very good that certain “important” courses have been selected; this will go a long way to help improve the economy, with the needed manpower.

  • Mo

    So if my parents are middle class and I leave home and decide to pay my own way through university … am I in the missing middle or fully subsidised?

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